Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Social Protection Willie O’Dea has expressed concern about the continued high rates of poverty and deprivation following the release of the latest EU SILC data from the CSO.
Commenting on the matter Deputy O’Dea said “the headline rates are still very high and in fact the at-risk of poverty rate has increased from 15% in 2013 to 16% in 2014.
“Children, lone parents and the unemployed still have unacceptably high levels of poverty and deprivation, and while there has been a very small decrease in consistent poverty and deprivation, the figures are still appalling.
“Fine Gael and Labour have been responsible for 40 deep and wide ranging cuts that have adversely affected some of the most vulnerable in our society. Cuts to the Household Benefits Package, the Fuel Allowance, Jobseekers Benefit and the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance eroded the incomes of low income families, and despite talks of a recovery it is evident from these figures that a recovery is not been felt by many sections of Irish society. Furthermore, the punitive changes to the eligibility criteria for the One Parent Family Payment have had dire consequences for one parent households.
“The latest SILC data shows for example that 59% of one-parent households are experiencing deprivation and 22% are in consistent poverty. Talk of a recovery rings hollow when you see these sobering statistics.
“This Government has introduced several regressive budgets and have pursued an agenda that has punished the vulnerable and awarded the better off and these statistics are the latest evidence of this.”